RiverRock bonding [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-18-2006, 02:21 PM
Hi All,
The shower upgrade is progressing without too many problems, just taking much longer than I anticipated.

I installed the matted river rock pebbles over the existing tile today with Lowes' UltraFlex 2 thinset using a 3/8" trowel... however, I know some rocks are pretty much being secured by the mesh and not the mortar.

Should I expect the grout will work as the final binder or remove and rebond the loose rocks with mortar ???

Alex P

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scott anthony
03-18-2006, 03:03 PM
pray for the 3 G's (grout, gravity and god) It should be ok but no of us can promise that. If it's completely floating pull it stick a little butter on it. You know what I mean.

03-18-2006, 03:45 PM
Hi Scott,
And with all the politicians God has to deal with, I'd better work on fixin' the shower myself.

It appears that as the mortar is setting, there are only a few areas that will require remedial assistance.

Is it of any value to water mist the mortar to lengthen the dry-out time and improve bonding ??

( This is my first 'tile&mortar' project so I may ask dumb questions )

-alex p

03-18-2006, 03:59 PM

I've only done one River Rock job, but it is a like mosiac. And there isn't a single mosiac job that I've done, that didn't have a dozen or so fixits after the tile was down and sorta set. High Tiles, Bad Spacing (they are afffixed to the matting with the aid of a human eye). Poor Bonding. Its hard to spot them while tiling.

Don't wait too long--the next day is OK, Take a Dremel and cut out the mortar along the side and use small screw driver or my tool of choice a brad pry bar to pop up the offending tile and then Dremel the setting bed down to zero. Blow out the dust. Add some moisture to the setting bed, just a few drops, and re set the offending tile. I let the mortar squeeze up around it and then wait another day to Dremel it out.

Then grout.

Grout is your friend.

John Bridge
03-18-2006, 04:09 PM
Welcome aboard, Alex. :)

I don't own a Dremel.

I think you can do it manually. :D

Grout WILL lock in the stray stone here and there.

03-18-2006, 05:31 PM
Hi All and thanks.
What about spritzing the exposed mortar with a bit of water Yes/No ?


03-18-2006, 05:38 PM
Unless you live in the desert, the sun's beating down on it, and it is windy, not worth the effort.

03-18-2006, 08:09 PM
For mud beds and tiling applications, I always cover the area with a piece of plastic or preferably some kraft paper overnight.

But for onesies and twosies tile replacement--not worth the effort.

Grout is your friend.